New York Estate Planning for Unmarried Couples, Domestic Partners and Same Sex Unions
Estate planning for unmarried couples, domestic partnerships and same sex unions pose unique issues not needed by traditional families. Stephen J. Silverberg is an estate planning attorney experienced in creating effective legal plans and protection for same sex unions, domestic partners, unmarried couples and families for more than 30 years.
Key issues to be addressed include protecting each other in the course of daily life, providing for disability and illness, disposition of assets upon death, and determining the control of final arrangements. Any plan must address both the expected and unexpected events of life.
There are many critical legal issues that must be addressed. Inconsistencies between various laws and jurisdictions make this planning particularly difficult. An issue that can be quite complex is a situation involving children. Who will care for minor children if tragedy were to strike? How will assets be passed to them, or their guardians? Gifts, while useful, can result in unnecessary gift taxes.
Another problem area is planning for disposition of an estate after death, which is decidedly different from a traditional couple. Unmarried couples and same sex unions do not receive the same tax benefits granted to married couples. Assets can be subject to significant taxes; however, there are various strategies that can be used to minimize taxes. For example, use of an irrevocable trust can make the proceeds of life insurance policies permanently estate tax free. An added benefit is that it will also protect the proceeds for the survivor from any outside claims, including family, bankruptcy, IRS issue and general creditors. Some key estate planning issues for couples in this position and families include:
- Medical Care Planning, including a Health Care Proxy
- Living Wills
- Financial Durable Power of Attorney for Asset Management
- Directions about final arrangements
- Revocable Living Trusts
- Planning for Care and Custody of Children
- Irrevocable Wealth Transfer Trusts
- Life Insurance
- Charitable Trusts
- Pros and Cons of Joint Ownership of Property
- Probate and Estate Administration
- Employee Benefits, Including 401(k) plans, Pensions and IRA Accounts
If you have questions or concerns about this area of the law, call Stephen J. Silverberg at 516-307-1236 or click here to send an email.
The Law Office of Stephen J. Silverberg, P.C. provides elder law and estate planning legal services to clients throughout metropolitan New York and New York City including the communities of Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Roslyn, and Roslyn Heights.
Please contact the firm if you or a family member is in need of legal assistance with New York Trusts and Estate Planning, New York Elder Law, New York Special Needs Planning or New York Business Planning and Wealth Preservation.
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Stephen J. Silverberg, PC
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